Originally from the Lower Saint Lawrence Valley (Québec, Canada), Andrée Bélanger spent several years abroad before settling down back home in 2017. She owns a Master’s Degree in History from Laval University (2010), and she fulfilled a Fine Arts foundation program at Yukon School of Visual Arts (2012-2013). Her first short animated film was awarded a prize at Dawson City International Short Film Festival, and the shooting of her second short film (2014) was supported by the production centre and theatre Paraloeil.
Since 2013, the artist exhibited a variety of solo and collective projects in video, installation, painting, drawing, sculpture and performance, most of the time combining media, in Québec province, the Canadian North and Europe. She was hosted for residencies by Beauport’s Art and History Society and by Le Récif collective in Rivière-Trois-Pistoles.
Through her artistic research, she investigates human beings’ physical and metaphysical territories, as well as the connexions between them.
I live in the forest, my life and my work are solitary. Artistic research gives me an outstanding perspective through which I get in touch with people and I explore the world’s diversity. I open myself to others’ vision and try to understand how it fits in the big picture ; I study the way individual outlooks amalgamate to create the world. My way of life allows time and space to interiorize and process the observations taken on the outside.
I have a strong taste for human beings complexity, which is infinite, and whose actions often seem paradoxical. This brings up an abundance of absurd situations, which sometimes inspires me compassion and tenderness, sometimes a more caustic humour. However, I refuse to use my art to pour out my dilemmas onto others. My quest is rooted in research, communication and sharing ; I sincerely aspire to bond with the other person and share with him, with her.
This is why I stay aware not to fall into cynicism when at creating.
I went through a one-year foundation course in Fine Arts, and I attend development courses every year, yet my approach is also very much self-taught. I know that I am inevitably influenced by what my colleagues do or have done, and I assumethat this influence has its place since it is a part of the world I also am a part of. However, I take care to lead my artistic research in a variety of surroundings, contexts and situations.
The central aim of my practice is to uncover and show the link which exists from one thing to another. Adding to this practice are collaborations of all sorts with people coming from a variety of social and professional backgrounds : artist-run centres, artistic and cultural organizations, activist group, scientists, fellow artists, and a multitude of individuals and communities. I present my work in both official and non official places, in or out walls.
My art is conceptual : the inspiration manifests as ideas, which usually take shape as images. I mostly create through painting, drawing, installation and video. I also use sculpture, performance, audio and photography, generally as complement to one of my four favourite medias.
My iconography distinguishes through sobriety, through a quest of the essential. The lines or the objects are often limited to the minimum needed to the understanding of the whole. I sometimes use an abundance of elements to contrast with an element limited to the bare minimum, so that they both bring each other to light. For example, in painting, a very simple figurative element exposed on a loaded abstract background ; in drawing, a page covered with a pattern in black and white showing a single element in colour ; in installation, three stones and two bones displayed on a plinth sitting in front of a wall covered with photos showing a multitude of stones and bones ; in video, the image of an extremely slow natural action associated with a soundtrack of various sounds testifying of human activity.
Most of the time, I show my work assembling different medias in one exhibition; I then set the works so to give an additional dimension to the global concept. A body of works which might seem heterogenous at first glance actually allows the expression of a unique message under various perspectives, acting as distorted reflections of one another.
The message takes different shapes and cuts across a variety of matters, yet always is the same : although things seem different -and they are, in a way-, everything is connected. I understand that my most profound wish is to bring people together, in the respect of individual freedom. In this sense, my art is committed.
After five years of professional artistic practice, I could identify the theme which transcends my creation as a whole, which I named “A Division is a Connexion” (in French : “La non-frontière” -limitless, or no borders). The non-frontier between nature and civilization is my most recurring division/connexion ; I study the influence of the outer territory on the “management” of the inner territory, and vice versa. Through my artistic research and practice and by my way of life, I act as a link myself.
August 24th-30th, 2017: “Exuviae”, Galerie BDMC, Paris, France |video, installation, drawings, acrylic paintings, stone sculptures
April 22nd, 2017 : “Retrospective”, Gare de Moriez, France |video, drawings, installations, acrylic paintings, stone sculptures
February-March 2017: “Raw Perspectives”, Allos (February 22nd-23rd)/Thorame-Basse/Jouques (February 25th-26th), France |acrylic paintings, filmed interactive performance
October 18th– December 16th, 2016: “Perspectives on Reality”, Musée minimaliste des arts modestes, Digne-les-Bains (France) |installative work on twosites
August-September 2016: “Rupture(s)”, Digne-les-Bains (August 15th– 28th)/Peyrolles-en-Provence (September 14th– 30th), France|ink on paper drawings, acrylic paintings, stone sculpture, installations
April 23rd– May 1st, 2016 : “Scattered Snow : Core Exile”, Allons, France|charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, stone sculptures, installations
October 30th– November 30th, 2014: “Finding Diadem in the Pit”, Rimouski, Québec|film screening, photo installation, installation on plinth
January 25th, 2014 : “Origins”, Fédération franco-ténoise, Inuvik, Northwest Territories|acrylic paintingsinstallation, stone sculptures
October 17th-20th, 2013 : “Civilized”, in partnership with Caravansérail artist-run centre, Rimouski, Québec | acrylic paintings, sculptural installation, performance
June 1st-October 1st2017: “Origines et métamorphoses”, Société d’art et d’histoire de Beauport (curatorAnne-Yvonne Jouan), Beauport, Québec |short film (solo), installation (duo with homonym Andrée Bélanger, sculptor)
May 24th-30th, 2017: “BDMC French-Korean Exhibition” (curator Myeong-Hee Kim), Gaon Gallery, Seoul, South Korea |acrylic paintings
May 15th-20th, 2017: “BDMC French-Japanese Exhibition” (curator Myeong-Hee Kim), Gallery K, Tokyo, Japan |acrylic paintings
February 22nd-26th, 2017: “2esalon international d’art contemporain Art3f”, Toulouse, France | acrylic paintings
January 5th-16th, 2017: Collective exhibition -regular season, Galerie BDMC, Paris, France |acrylic paintings
May 28th– May 29th, 2016: “5erencontre d’art contemporain en gare de Moriez”, Moriez, France|charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings, stone sculptures, installations
November 28th– December 10th, 2015 : “Little Treasures” (curator Paola Trevisan), Trevisan International Art, Galleria De Marchi, Bologna, Italy| acrylic paintings
August 18th– September 15th, 2015 : “Hard Fullness”, duo with Benjamin Garnero (stone sculptor), Colmars-les-Alpes, France|acrylic paintings, stone sculptures
PARTNERSHIPS, SPECIAL PROJECTS, SCREENINGS
January 27th, 2018 “A Division is a Connexion”
Private exhibition-concert for Collectif Le Récif
Duo with Guillaume Aubertin, music composer-performer
Auberge de la Grève, Rivière-Trois-Pistoles, Québec
June 1st– October 1st, 2017 “Étrangetés” (“Oddities”)
Screening of experimental short film, as a part of collective exhibition “Origines et métamorphoses”
Société d’art et d’histoire de Beauport (SAHB)
Maison Girardin, Beauport, Québec
February – March 2017 “Questionner la Canadienne” (“Ask the Canadian”)
Filmed interactive performance, on three sites, preparatory to the making of short film “Étrangetés” (“Oddities”)
Allos (February 22nd-23rd), Thorame-Basse (February 25th-26th) and Jouques (March 3rd), France
January 2016 “Les 5 saisons de Colmars”
Web publication of 2D animation video (“Portraits d’acteurs”, monthly)
Commissioned by Parc naturel régional du Verdon and Association Art et Culture Fabri de Peiresc
Website La Mescla, France
June 30th– July 4th, 2014 “Finding Diadem in the Pit”
Performance : collective exhumation of a horse carcass (5 days)
In partnership with Archeology & Heritage Laboratory of Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)
Les Écuries de Neuve-France, Le Bic, Québec
May 18th, 2014 “Klondike Colours”
Thematic colouring book launch
Organized by Rabbit Creek Press, Dawson City, Yukon
November 26th, 2013 “Tout ce que les hommes savent / Everything Humans Know”
Paraloeil, regular schedule
Presentation and screening of short 2D animation film
Cinéma Paraloeil, Rimouski, Québec
April 10th, 2013 “What’s Wrong?”
Solo performance : to have a live horse in an art gallery (30 minutes)
Confluence Gallery, Dawson City, Yukon
March 28th– 31st, 2013 “Tout ce que les hommes savent / Everything Humans Know”
Dawson City International Short Film Festival
Screening of short 2D animation film
Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Dawson City, Yukon
December 9th, 2017 – January 27th, 2018 “A Division is a Connexion”
Individual artistic research project with the division as a connexion theme, involving constant interactions with members and friends of Le Récif collective
Auberge de la Grève, Rivière-Trois-Pistoles, Québec
May 19th– June 1st, 2017 “Origines et métamorphoses”
Collective residency, preparatory to eponymous exhibition
Curator Anne-Yvonne Jouan, Société d’art et d’histoire de Beauport (SAHB)
Other participating artists : Andrée Bélanger (sculptor), Adrien Bobin, Marie-José Gustave, Julien Lebargy, Nytha Oronga, Véronique Sunatori
Heritage houses Maison Girardin and Maison Tessier-dit-Laplante, Beauport, Québec
PRIZES AND GRANTS
2014 : Creation punctual support, video production centre and theatre Paraloeil, Rimouski | for the shooting of the short film based on the performance “Finding Diadem in the Pit”
2013 : “Emerging Artist Prize”, Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Dawson City (Yukon) | for the short 2D animation film “Tout ce que les hommes savent / Everything Humans Know”